Hockey was first played in the Northern Territory in Darwin in 1940 with teams from the services competing for the Abbott Shield. The competition had six clubs, several having multiple teams. The first Darwin Hockey Grand Final was played between mobile A and Mobile B, finishing in a 1–1 draw. The replay match was held the following Tuesday with Mobile A defeating Mobile B 1–0 to claim the first Abbott Shield.
The Northern Territory Hockey Association was formed in Darwin during 1948 and commenced its competition during the wet season of 1949-50. Hockey continued to grow through the 1950s and 1960s as more clubs joined the competition. In 1981 a major step was taken to form the Darwin Hockey Association, allowing the Northern Territory Hockey Association to become the state body and control hockey in Darwin, Gove and Alice Springs.